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> Wyatt Reader wrote: "One final question and I do appreciate > all the replies given on this topic. Since it is reported the > Japanese had as many as 7 million troops ahores in Asia and > China, was there supply based entirely then, upon local > resources ? If so, or not, how was such a large overseas > force sustained ?" I believe the standard number here is around 6.5 million Japanese being abroad throughout Asia at the time of Japan's surrender; however, close to half of this number were civilians (it was not just Japanese military forces that had to be demobilized after the war, but also Japan's half-century old colonial empire with its administrators and expatriates, plus the substantial number of civilians involved on the ground in the puppet state of Manchukuo). Going back to the time of Pearl Harbor, I think the usual estimates have somewhat less than 1 million (800,000-900,000?) Japanese soldiers and sailors deployed in China. The only other substantial foreign deployments that come immediately to mind are those in Indochina in 1940-41, but these forces would have been substantially less numerous than those in China. > Roger Horky wrote: "The traditional narrative is that neither > Japan nor the part of China Japan occupied was particularly > well blessed with the sorts of resources needed to sustain a > modern industrialized war--so the short answer to the > question is that local supply was insufficient. The long > answer is that this datum is the key to the entire Pacific > War. To make up the shortfall, the Japanese began casting > covetous eyes on the tin, oil, rubber, and other resources > available in Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies > (modern-day Malaysia and Indonesia). Both were apparently > ripe for the plucking; both were European colonies whose > metropoles were distracted by the war in Europe." While the war in China is of central importance to understanding the origins of the war in the Pacific, I think it is more accurate to pin the coveting of Southeast Asian resources to the larger Japanese project of building a "high-grade national defense state" and a "New Order in East Asia" than to prosecution of the China war per se. Indeed, some of the most strident advocates of these larger goals viewed the war in China as a distraction and a drain of resources that would undermine Japan's militarization and the realization of autarky in East Asia. Even those who supported the hard-line approach in late 1937 did so on the mistaken presumption that the campaign to "chastise" the Chinese would be over quickly. Cheers, Roger Brown, Ph.D. Professor of History (Modern Japan & US-Japan Relations) Saitama University email: firstname.lastname@example.org rhbrown <email@example.com> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----